"The Transfiguration: A Glimpse of Things to Come"-Matthew 17:1-13

“The Transfiguration: A Glimpse Of Things To Come”


Matthew 17:1-13

Core Behavior: Worship- I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.

Psalm 95:1-7 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture…

Scripture: Matthew 17:1-13And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The Message of this Passage: In the Communicators Commentary Myron Augsburger writes: “We have seen the Messiah identified as the Son of God (16:16–17), the Messiah interpreted as the Suffering Savior (16:21); now the Messiah is introduced as the glorified Son of the Father (17:1–5)….This passage might be called “the glimpse of the kingdom.” Willard Swartley calls the Transfiguration “a preview of the Kingdom power.” Matthew tells of the presence of Moses and Elijah, but omits Luke’s statement that they talked with Jesus “about his departure, which he was to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31, niv). Matthew does not interpret the significance of these particular men, Moses having been the first great lawgiver and Elijah the first great prophet in Israel. But Moses, Elijah, and Jesus are not equals, for in Jesus revelation had reached its peak, and He was pronounced by God as His Son.

The word for “transfigured” is the word “metamorphosis,” from the Greek root morpha, a word which means a change arising from the essential nature of His person, not an external impression. Peter’s offer came as an outburst of enthusiasm, ‘Lord, this is great! Let us build three tabernacles.’ Let us capture the moment, let us institutionalize the happening, as we are so inclined to do with God’s movements, with revival and with movements of the Spirit among us. But before Peter was finished expressing his plan, God pulled the rug out from under him! The Greek is emphatic in the word “suddenly” (literally “behold”) a voice came from the cloud with the ultimate word, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’ It was God’s affirmation of Christ and God’s mandate to Peter—'You listen to Him.’ No small wonder that the disciples fell on their faces in fear.”  

Answering Interpretive Questions:

  • What does the Transfiguration tell us about who Jesus is?

  • Why did Peter suggest building three tabernacles, or tents (see Zechariah 14:16-21)?

  • What does it mean for you and me to be transformed (or “transfigured”) into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18)?

  • Practically speaking, how can we allow the Spirit to transform us? What can we do to make ourselves more available to His transforming work in our lives?

  • Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to talk about the Transfiguration until after His resurrection?

  • We too will one day be transfigured to be like Him, until that day what should we be doing? (See 1 John 3:2-3)

  • Why do you think Jesus only invites Peter, James, and John? 

  • How do you think the transfiguration affected the Disciples' faith and purpose? 

  • Moses and Elijah appearing at the transfiguration represent the law and the prophets. Although obeying the law and applying the messages of the prophets is important, what does the voice of the Father say we should, “hear”?

  • What distractions, ideas or beliefs prevent you from listening to God or to other godly advice? 

2 Corinthians 3:18  And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” MLK

Grant SchweisthalMatthew